The Long Beach State softball team’s comeback bid wasn’t enough to upset No.18 Minnesota in a 3-2 home-opener loss at Softball Complex Friday.
Long Beach (11-10) junior outfielder Alyssa Gonzalez’s RBI double in the fifth inning tied the game up at two to send the game into extra innings, but sophomore utility Emily Hansen’s RBI-single in the eighth proved to be the difference for the Golden Gophers (13-8).
Although the Beach had nine hits to Minnesota’s three, they were unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position.
“It’s a frustrating loss,” Long Beach head coach Kim Sowder said. “We didn’t have good at-bats with runners in scoring position. We had opportunities early on in the game to put some runs on the board with just some better at-bats.”
The lead wouldn’t last long as Minnesota sophomore Natalie DenHartog hit a two-run home run in the third to take the lead 2-1. After giving up the home run, senior pitcher Kellie White found her rhythm and started hitting her spots, finishing the game with nine strikeouts and three hits.
“I relied on my confidence and my team,” White said. “They have all their confidence in me, so I know that the eight people playing behind me and in the dugout are rooting for me.”
Gonzalez’s RBI-double to right field brought home senior outfielder Breezy Wise for the game-tying run in the fifth at 2-2. Gonzalez finished the game with two hits, bringing her total to 21 for the season.
The game would go into extra inning after the Beach was unable to capitalize with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth.
“We just didn’t do the job offensively. We had opportunities, we just needed better at-bats,” Sowder said.
It took the Golden Gophers just one extra inning to put the game away, scoring in the eighth.
“We got to pick up our energy tomorrow, we’re going to come out here guns blazing and we are going to be ready to go and win this game tomorrow,” White said.
Long Beach State will host the University of Central Florida at the Softball Complex in the Louisville Slugger Invitational Saturday, March 7 at 2 p.m.